Good Post-Iraq Analysis

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/09/09/opinion/edlieven.php
    One of the first intelligent "withdrawal scenarios" I've seen. What do you lot think?
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    This is great, but do you think the administration is capable of doing this?
     
  3. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #3
    Of course not. They'd rather choke on a pretzel.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #4
    And it would make them look "weak".
     
  5. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Interesting article. The weak link in the chain of countries listed is Saudi Arabia. They're having far too many internal difficulties to be able to play as great a role as they should do, although the (actual) accession of King Abdullah (as opposed to the theoretical role he was performing as Crown Prince) and the increase in the price of oil will help pacify some of the more moderate elements in Saudi society.
    I personally can't see Shrub authorising a withdrawal (let alone even being able to think about it) but will the GOP try and force his hand as it gets nearer to 2008? Watching their candidates election chances disappearing down the toilet might force them to act.
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #6
    The author is much more optimistic about the chances of Iraq's neighbors participating in bringing about a solution than seems justified. Jordan and Saudi Arabia would love to see continued Sunni dominance, Iran wants another Shia Islamic Republic (which it looks like we are handing them,) and Syria would just a soon chaos for US forces continued for a long time. Add to this the fact that only a betrayal of the Kurds will make most of the nations of the region happy, and we've got a quagmire I don't think we're climbing out of any time soon. Thank you, George Bush! :eek:
     
  7. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    For a start the Iranian Shia are virtually unrelated to the Iraqi (Arab) Shia, and secondly, I believe that the governments of all those countries are a lot more pragmatic that you might imagine.
     
  8. blackfox macrumors 65816

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    #8
    There is, of course, the tried-and-true method of installing a tyrannical dictator who will impose order and legitimacy by brute force.

    Sad to say, but it seems that historically, this seems to be one of the few things that has worked.

    Other possibilities include the reinstatement of a Hashemite Ruler, who have Islamic legitimacy (and once ruled Iraq).

    As I believe NO has recently showed us - a chaotic situation needs order established before any real developments can be made politically or economically. Iraq may have to become a police state before it has any chance of being a legitimate one.
     
  9. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    But, but, but....
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    I'd tend to lean towards some level of pragmatism as well. Escalating regional conflict could sweep many of these regimes from power as well, and I think many of them know this.

    While I don't have any real hope of actual cooperation, perhaps enough self-preservation instincts exist among leaders in the region to keep the conflicts localized at least. It worked on a grand scale during the cold war.

    However, it will be an ugly mess when we finally do admit we made a horrible mistake and would the Pottery Barn please reverse it's policy just this once...

    I'm thinking the GOP is going to try to begin a phased drawdown (certainly not a withdrawl of course) around spring next year to allow their candidates to declare some level of success and to reduce the growing pressures on the GOP over the Iraq war. Whether that will work or not remains to be seen.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    If that's the case, then we might as well have spared the tens of thousands of lives, and the huge bill for the American taxpayer, and left Saddam in power as a toothless tiger. :rolleyes:

    And yes, I realize that this might end up happening.

    But at least he'd (lets not kid ourselves) be OUR ruthless dictator, right! Of course Saddam was ours once too, so there will be those who object and say we'll simply end up fighting whatever strongman we install 20 years down the line like we've done so painfully many times before... but they can be disregarded as unpatriotic fools.
     
  12. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    Exactly what I said above...
    :)
     
  13. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #13
    skunk, my understanding is that many Shia clerics were trained in Iran and took refuge there from Saddam's persecution. I'm not sure how that makes them "virtually unrelated." More like political allies, with a similar vision of society.

    As to the pragmatism of the neighboring countries, I'm sure that is true of the Syrian regime, but they have been so alienated from any possible alliance with US interests that trying to get them to help at this point seems highly unlikely. The Saudis and the Jordanians? Just what can they get out of this situation? A secular, whole Iraq would be in their interests (and the Syrians) but that is quickly slipping away. I'm afraid the pragmatism of Iraq's neighbors may just turn out to be the pragmatic alliances with the growing powerful sentiment within the region of anti-Americanism at any cost. Again, thank you, George.
     
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #14
    but what?

    Hey, I am all for diplomacy and involving the Region in it's own stability and security. I just don't see it happening w/o a strongman involved.

    Syria had it's attempts at Democracy and descended into chaos - only Assad was able to stabilize the Country by force, much to the relief of the citenzenry at the time.

    OTOH, King Hussein of Jordan (brother of the ex-ruler of Iraq iirc), has been able to use his family's historical legitimacy to rule effectively, coupled with shrewd manipulation of regional interests.
     
  15. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    Well, you might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, eh?
    :cool:
     
  16. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    "But, but, but..." as in [irony]But didn't we have that before this all started?[/irony]
     
  17. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #17
    That one ain't gonna fly,they may well have Islamic legitimacy(supposed descent from Mohammed)but the Hashemite rulers were imposed by the Brits and thoroughly loathed by the vast majority in Iraq(itself of course a Brit creation)to this day the last thing acceptable will be them.


    The only possible successful outcome I can see is a Balkans type answer,with all the bloodshed and pain that involved.Huge problems conspire against it however the Sunnis would have little oil,the Kurds are working for a Greater Kurdistan and are in for the long game,The Turks with US support aren't going to let that happen without huge bloodshed(along with the other occupiers of Kurdistan of course),the Saudis have a hugely unpopular monarchy and are unlikely to survive even with all the US's resources,the hatred for the US and Brits for their behaviour means no solution with any hint of their involvement isn't going to work period.
     
  18. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #18
    True, George Sr., and Jr. and Co. have helped create a worse mess than ever before, but let's keep the Middle East in perspective, it has been a mess for a few thousand years now, divided religiously and culturally for centuries. George Bush and the US are just the latest of a long line of invaders going back to well before Ghengis Khan and Attila and Alexander. Nobody has been able to "climb out of the quagmire" for centuries. Not making any excuses for Bush because I have been against both conflicts in Iraq since the beginning.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    All the more reason to vote incompetent when it comes to governing with these guys. Did they actually think THEY could succeed where so many others had failed so spectacularly? That's called folly in my book.
     
  20. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    That simply isn't true. From the Seljuks to the Ottoman Empire, the whole area was peaceful and very successfull for a long time. Religious differences were rarely a problem. Christians, Jews, Sunni and Shia, Armenians and Copts, co-existed in considerable harmony.
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Maybe comparative harmony, as in compared to the religious conflicts of Europe through the same time period. The religious conflicts in the middle east do have a long history, particularly between Sunni and Shia, but as opposed to what? Catholic vs. Protestant conflicts?

    As far as the Ottoman Empire is concerned, it was a very successful empire from the perspective of the Ottoman rulers. I'm not so sure the same can be said from the view of the people they ruled.
     
  22. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    I'd say it was on a par with most other empires until shortly before its death.
     
  23. highres macrumors 6502a

    highres

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    #23
    One only needs to study the history of any region in North Africa or the Middle East for say a period of 500-1000 years and can't possibly say that it was peaceful. Since before the Romans there has been cultural, religious and regional strife, I can list many, many conflicts if you need me to although it would be a bit time consuming. Religious differences have always been a problem in the Middle East, besides conflicts over available resources, religion and ideological differences are the number one reason for conflict there historically. Whether Semite, Christian, Shiite, Sunni, Catholic, Muslim, etc.
     
  24. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #24
    I'm interested in why North Africa and the Middle East as opposed to any other region of the world.
     
  25. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #25
    I wouldn't dispute that. I only wanted to note that empires are inherently repressive forms of social organization. The Ottomans had a lighter hand than others, particularly in dealing with religious minorities (Christians played a vital role in their bureaucracy, etc.) but it was still an empire that denied, like all empires, the right of people to rule themselves.
     

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